Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program

Table of contents

What is GCWood?

The Government of Canada created the Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program to encourage greater use of wood in construction projects in Canada. We want to catalyze a broader awareness of, and domestic capacity for, innovative tall wood buildings, timber bridges and low-rise non-residential wood buildings. Building with wood offers many benefits, including GHG emission reductions and opportunities for economic growth.

Call for Low-Rise Non-Residential wood demonstration buildings Expressions of Interest is now open

The Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) program has officially launched its second Call for Expressions of Interest. Our focus for this round is on low-rise non-residential buildings (1-4 storeys) in the following categories: Commercial/Industrial (e.g., retail, warehouse, box-type, etc) and Office/Institutional (e.g. office building, school, health facilities, etc). Applications are due by December 3, 2018 at 17:00 EST.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Applicant’s Guide provide more details about eligibility and the application process. For further questions, please contact the GCWood Team.

GCWood provides non-repayable contributions of up to 100% of a project’s eligible incremental costs for the demonstration of innovative mass timber products and systems. The funding is intended to offset the cost of being the “first mover” of wood-intensive projects, and to support the development of knowledge and tools to support the success of future projects.

Knowledge and information developed using GCWood funding will fall under a Creative Commons license to allow for knowledge sharing. For details about what information could be made available, please contact a GCWood team member.

Our goals

The GCWood program supports Canada’s transition to a more wood-inclusive construction industry by funding projects that encourage:

  • greater adoption and commercialization of wood-based products in the construction of innovative tall wood buildings, timber bridges, and low-rise non-residential wood buildings
  • replication of demonstrated innovative non-traditional wood-based buildings and timber bridges
  • research that addresses the gap in technical information needed to facilitate revisions to the 2020 and 2025 National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) to allow tall wood buildings beyond the current 6 storey limit

To receive information about the GCWood program, please join our mailing list by contacting the GCWood team.

Benefits of GCWood-funded projects

Environmental benefits of working with wood include:

  • reduced GHG emissions from renewable and sustainable resources
  • innovative energy-efficient building designs

Communities will benefit from:

  • new jobs and development opportunities
  • more options and affordable housing for home buyers
  • increased market opportunities for rural and Indigenous communities dependent on forestry activities

Companies will benefit from:

  • new revenues
  • a reduction in the incremental cost gap of using wood
  • new or diversified building portfolios

Who is eligible?

Not-for-profit and for-profit organizations validly incorporated or registered in Canada, as well as provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies, are eligible to apply. Projects must demonstrate an innovative technical solution, and represent a significant advancement in wood construction.

History of the GCWood Program

The GCWood program was announced in Budget 2017 with $39.8 million over four years, starting in 2018-19. The funds will support projects and activities that increase the use of wood as a green building material in infrastructure projects.

With this new funding, the GCWood program will build off the success of the Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative (TWBDI). Through the TWBDI, NRCan funded two successful demonstration projects: The Origine building in Quebec (the tallest all-wood condominium building in North America in 2017, at 13 storeys) and the Brock Commons Tallwood House student residence on the University of British Columbia campus (the tallest hybrid wood building in the world in 2017, at 18 storeys).

GCWood’s first call for Expressions of Interest for Tall Wood Building Projects was open from October to December 2017. It was well received, with 14 applications being submitted from across the country.